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Detroiters need a chance to get it together



A piece of her mind

Re: "Emergency manager: Take 3" (News Hits, Nov. 23), as a lifelong resident of the great city of Detroit, I am very disappointed in the government on all levels of this state.

I write to you as a citizen who has participated in the election process every election primary and general, no matter what, since the voting age of 18; I believe in the process. But at this point in time, my beliefs are being challenged regarding the process and the results of it over the last 30 years in this state.

In the '80s and through the '90s, the legislation passed in this state was the beginning of the destruction of the city of Detroit and other communities. The state took over the Detroit Public School system and basically destroyed it by putting it in more debt by the millions. Ending the residency requirement robbed the city of Detroit of revenue as well as the 21 other cities in this state that have a city income tax; it also reduced the amounts of property tax revenues when employees leave their homes and the homes remain vacant, which has happened in communities across this state. 

The city of Detroit's leaders of the same time period destroyed the Public Lighting Department by gutting its staff and not investing in the necessary upgrades and apprenticeship training to keep it functioning as the revenue-maker it was. 

The state forced casinos on Detroit, by allowing the voters of the state to have a vote on whether casinos should be in Detroit, when Detroit residents said no three times. And the nerve of the state to receive a greater percentage of revenues from the casinos than the city of Detroit, and the city agreed to reduce the income tax rate for this casino deal.

And here we are today, with the governor of this state, currently, who now wants to send in an emergency manager to the city of Detroit, because it is having financial problems, just like most other communities in this state, since they all received revenue-sharing cuts in the governor's approved budget for 2012. 

I am totally against this action because the city has not met any of the criteria of PA4 of 2011 yet; it has not had payless paydays; it has not exhausted all avenues to resolve the financial problems of this city in the current fiscal year. The city's elected leaders should be given the chance to right the operation of this city. If, in the end, an emergency manager is proven to be needed, then so be it.

At this time, I am requesting all of you to petition Gov. Snyder that a review board is not needed in the city of Detroit at this time, and to give the elected leaders of Detroit the opportunity to do what they were elected to do: make the hard decisions that have to be made, under the circumstances we find ourselves in today. —Lynnette Bowens, Detroit

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